Buster Posey

Giants shut out of awards, go home empty-handed for second-straight year

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USATSI

Giants shut out of awards, go home empty-handed for second-straight year

SAN FRANCISCO — For four-straight days this week, MLB Network ran hour-long specials to reveal the 2018 award winners. After each winner was announced, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released full ballots on its website. 

Nobody connected to the Giants had any reason to really pay attention to any of this. 

The Giants did not, of course, have a winner or anyone that even came particularly close. But for a second-straight year, they also did not have a single player -- or their manager -- receive a single vote for any of the four major awards. 

The MVP ballot has 10 slots and 19 different players received at least one vote, but you couldn’t make the case for a Giant to even finish 10th. There was no Cy Young candidate and Bruce Bochy was out of the Manager of the Year race in the middle of the summer. The organization’s best shot at some consideration was in the Rookie of the Year balloting, but Dereck Rodriguez fell off a bit in September, and that was enough to keep him out of consideration for the third slot on ballots. Right-hander Walker Buehler of the Dodgers received 20 of the 30 third-place votes. 

This has happened two consecutive years, and as our Ahmed Fareed pointed out, the Giants joined the Padres and Pirates as the only NL teams to not have a single MVP vote the past two seasons. It goes deeper, though. 

Last year, the Giants at least had a Gold Glove winner in Brandon Crawford. Buster Posey won the Silver Slugger Award at catcher last season, too. But in 2018, the Giants were shut out of those announcements as well.

Crawford failed to win a Gold Glove for the first time since 2014. Posey was shut down in August, ending any shot at awards. Madison Bumgarner is normally a threat for the Silver Slugger (which he's won twice), but he batted just .159. 

The end result was that the Giants did not receive a single vote for any of the four major awards and also did not pick up a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger. There will be no pregame ceremonies of any kind next April, and that’s rare. 

You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find a Giants team that didn’t get any recognition at all during awards season. Hunter Pence finished third in the Rookie of the Year balloting that year -- for the Astros, who were still in the National League. 

So, yeah, it’s been a long time since this has happened.

'No red flags' for six injured Giants six weeks into the offseason

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AP

'No red flags' for six injured Giants six weeks into the offseason

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few hours before the Giants named Farhan Zaidi their new president of baseball operations, assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley stood in the lobby of the Omni Resort in Carlsbad and looked down at a notecard full of names. He had been asked about the large collection of Giants who finished the season on crutches or in slings. 

"No red flags," he said.

Zaidi's first order of business will be to build depth for a team that was crushed by injuries in 2018. That effort will be helped by the fact that all of the rehabbing Giants appear to be doing well. They're all on schedule, or in some cases, a little ahead.

It starts with catcher Buster Posey, of course. He's off his crutches and walking normally two and a half months after major hip surgery. Posey has been rehabbing five days per week in the Bay Area, and remains on pace to start baseball work in January.

Shelley said Posey "definitely" will be ready for activity in spring training, as the Giants had anticipated all along.

When Posey shows up in Scottsdale, he'll at some point run into Johnny Cueto. The right-hander is back in the Dominican Republic right now after months of rehab work in Arizona. He'll continue physical therapy at his offseason home and return to Scottsdale in February to begin a throwing program. There's still a chance that Cueto, who had Tommy John surgery, can return for a few starts at the end of next season.

First baseman Brandon Belt, who had a knee cleanup, is off his crutches and doing well. Steven Duggar (shoulder surgery), the likely Opening Day center fielder, just finished his rehab work in Arizona. He'll return to be checked later this month and then start a hitting program the first week of January. Austin Slater went down the last week of the season with an elbow sprain, but the young outfielder has started a throwing program and also is on schedule. 

Finally, there's a player who never made it back to the big leagues after a concussion. Shelley said Mac Williamson was cleared of symptoms in September and has had a normal offseason.

"He should be on schedule to compete for a job in spring training," Shelley said.

Williamson is out of options, so next spring is a big one for a player who looked headed for a breakout before he went down.

Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey come up short in 2018 Gold Glove voting

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AP

Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey come up short in 2018 Gold Glove voting

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time since 2014, the Giants do not have a Gold Glove Award winner. 

Brandon Crawford's three-year run as the NL's Gold Glove shortstop was snapped, with the Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed taking home his first award. This did not come as a surprise to the Giants, who knew Ahmed had a big lead in some defensive metrics. He led the NL with 21 defensive runs saved, finishing well ahead of Crawford (six) and Freddy Galvis (seven), the other finalist. Ahmed also had a clear lead in the SABR index, which makes up 25 percent of the vote. 

Buster Posey was also nominated for a Gold Glove, but Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina won at catcher. Posey, the 2016 winner, started just 85 games because of a hip injury that required surgery. 

The Giants had won five Gold Gloves in the previous three seasons. Prior to Crawford winning his first in 2015, the Giants had not won a Gold Glove Award since 2006.